Memories of Rula Christensen, recorded August 28, 2004
Contributor: R and N Englestead Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
Memories of Rula Woolsey Christensen
As told to her daughter Meridene Christensen Grant
August 28, 2004 Provo, Utah
Meridene: Tell me about how you had to take your sheep up to the summer pasture. Why did you do that?
Rula: Well, my dad and his father had quite a few sheep. They were quite big sheepherders. In the winter it snowed in the mountains, but it didn’t snow in the desert, so they would take the sheep to the desert. They spent the winter in the desert. In the spring the ewes would have their babies and then they would take the whole herd of sheep to a shearing place. So all the ewes would have their babies before they would do that? Yes and then they would take them to the shearing pen to be sheared. They would take all that wool off.
My dad would bring some of the choice clippings for my mother to use to put in quilts for the quilt batting. We would have to pull the wool through our fingers and the sand would all fall out. Then she would wash it and put it all out to dry. After that she would use two carders to make the batts for the quilts. The carders were wooden with a long handle. They had fine metal wire on them. You had to pull the wool through the carders and then cut the wool to the size of the carders, 10” by 4”, until you had enough for the quilt. You put a big piece of lining fabric out on the quilting frame for the bottom and then laid the batts out on it. Then you put a pieced quilt top over the batting. The tops were always pieced, either out of old clothing or old blue jeans or whatever people had. You had to be careful when you washed the quilts because the wool would shrink if you put it in too hot of water. Would it bunch up? No, not when it was quilted through.
People didn’t have big enough rooms to leave the quilt frame up, so they put big hooks in the ceiling of their largest room. They took strong straps, maybe denim, tied the straps to the hooks and then fastened the straps to the quilt frame at the right length to sit up to it and quilt. When they finished for the day, they would put the straps around the corners of the quilting, wrapping and wrapping until they got it up to the ceiling and out of the way.
My dad and the sheepherders would take the wool as it was being sheared, put it in great huge bags about 6 feet long, and take it by horse and wagon to Marysvale, where it would go by train to the wool-making factories for the clothing or blankets—they made a lot of blankets.
He would sell the wool in the spring and then bring back sugar and things needed for canning during the summer. One time when he took the wool, he took it up north someplace. Anyway he went up north and he brought me a two-piece red dress from the Utah Woolen Mills. It was made there and, of course, we had some wool blankets made from the wool. How old were you when you got that red dress? I was probably about 14 or 15. It was a two-piece dress with an over jacket; it was real pretty. Did it fit you well? Yes. That was really something special.
Then in the fall, we’d sell the lambs. They would ride horses and drive the lambs to the train. After my dad sold the lambs, he would bring back flour and other things that we needed during the winter time. So we always had a great huge chest that they would put the flour in. Big bags of flour? Probably 50 lb bags, I don’t know. Yes, they just put them down in a big wooden chest that had a big lid. Did the mice ever find it? No, because the lid was tight. They put at least a dozen bags of flour in the chest plus dried fruit and big bags of brown sugar. What a treat to go and jump up on that chest and lean down there and get a little handful of brown sugar to eat.
We had to make lots of jam and things that would keep; we put the jam in gallon jugs. What kind of jam? Oh, apricot and peach and different kinds. I don’t think we had strawberry. We had cherries and plums. Everything that we had, practically everything, we had to make. You couldn’t just hurry to the store and get a can of corn or something. But I don’t ever, ever remember us being out of any kind of food. Even when it was supposed to be the Depression, we always had food, plenty of it. Most of it was put in glass jars and was bottled that way.
And you were feeding a lot of people too. Yes, there were eight of us kids. Did you have to feed the farmhands too? No, we didn’t have any. My dad took food to the sheepherd. They had a place they would deposit it and cover it up so it wouldn’t freeze in the winter. They could go get out what they needed. But we always had to have a big garden. We didn’t have a pressure cooker. You had to fill your jars and put them on a big container on an outside fire and cook them for 7 or 8 hours. On a wood stove? Just an open wood fire. You cooked them for 7 or 8 hours, even the fruits and everything? Well, not the fruit, but the vegetables.
We used to have really good cauliflower. We would get it, trim it, put several heads in a flour sack and put it in a big barrel of salt water. It would keep all winter that way. And the pumpkins and the squash—when it was harvest time, we would take them up and put them in the hay stack. We’d dig holes and stick them back in the haystack and they wouldn’t freeze.
Then in the hot summer we had those little lard buckets. We would put milk and other things down our well on a rope and the cream would be cold enough that we could whip it. We had to bring every bit of water up out of that well and it was quite a job. It had a pulley up at the top with rope. We’d send one bucket down and while it was going down, another bucket would come up full. And then you’d have to heat it on the stove. To sterilize it? No, to wash dishes.
But you could drink that water and it was cold. Yes, it was cold. Once in a while you might have a mouse in the bucket when you brought it up. Oh dear! But all of your laundry and everything had to be heated in tubs on the wood fire outside. I can’t remember what we did in the winter about heating water. Well, we could heat on the wood burning stove. They had what they called a reservoir on the back of the stove. It was even with the stove, but it went down. It was hot all the time. So you could make hot drinks all the time. You could use it for anything. Yes and dish washing. It was like a water heater. Yes and we had to have a couple of teakettles all the time.
My dad was gone to the sheepherd camp most all the time cause you didn’t have people to hire. I used to love to go to the camp because the only thing that I remember being in a can was Pierce’s pork and beans. They had a paper on the outside that was red and some other color stripe. They would take those to the sheepherd camp and that was one reason I loved to go out there, to eat those pork and beans out of the can – already cooked!
Well, anyway, we bottled quite a bit of meat, but we had what they called a granary outside. My dad would always, as soon as it got cold weather, hang a hind quarter of a beef out in the granary and we would go out and have a little hatchet there. We would hold a pan and he would chip off little pieces into the pan. That was the only way you could keep fresh meat. He would chip it off into the pan. What month was it cold enough to keep that beef out there? Probably about November.
I never did like lamb much. Maybe you didn’t eat the lamb, maybe you ate the mutton. No, he would get the choice ones. He would take a hind quarter, the leg. He would make holes in it, put seasoning in those and put the whole thing into the oven. That was pretty good. We didn’t have shortening. You had to make your own from the pigs, the lard. Also we used the mutton tallow. Oh! That was what my mother used to grease her bread and her pans with. I didn’t mind the top crust too bad, but she’d put all of the eight loaves in a big black dripper. So the bottom part, I just could hardly stand to eat that. Oh dear! Of course the top was brown and crispy, it wasn’t too bad. Mutton was really more than I could stand. Oh my! But as I said earlier, I don’t ever remember us not having food.
I remember one time we had our little cellar underground. I went out and down in there and opened two or three bottles of fruit and drank the juice out of them. It was probably peaches or pears. I don’t know whether we brought them up before they spoiled or not, I don’t know.
Then as soon as school was out, we’d get in the wagon and go to the farm to stay for the summer. It was just down a ways south from town. It seemed like it was quite a ways because we would go with the wagon. We’d take our bedding and everything. So later, when Leavitt and I went to Escalante and drove down there, it wasn’t very far at all, maybe three or four miles.
I liked to sew when I was young. I was in the Bluebird class. You know, they had Bluebirds in Primary and they had a piece of cloth with a bluebird embroidered on it. I taught those kids, that I was in the class with, how to do embroidery. They stamped the bluebird design themselves because you could stamp things from embroidery by laying your plain cloth on top of it. You took a silver spoon and rubbed it on your hair and then rubbed the spoon on the plain cloth and the design would come through. Your pattern was actually an embroidered piece of material. That’s the way I got the pattern for that round tablecloth with the French knots. There are so many things like that that I don’t know how anybody would figure out to do them. It had to be a silver spoon and grease from the hair. We keep our heads so clean nowadays, it probably wouldn’t work.
Down there we had what we called a cistern. It was a big thing that you’d run the irrigation water in. Then it would settle. It would be clear and we drank that. I wonder why people didn’t get sick. Maybe some people did. We had the thing you’d turn that had metal cups on it and it’d bring up the water and you drank out of the spout.
Maybe there weren’t so many pollutants in the ground then. Probably not, they didn’t spray or anything. Maybe the irrigation water was a creek coming down. Yes, it was, and we got so much more snow than we do now that the streams were huge.
Sometimes I’d have one of my cousins come and stay for a few days. Did you have a cousin named Ruby? No, that was one of my best friends.
My mother had two sisters who were just about my age. What were their names? They were Jessie and Afton. Your mother was Alcea? My mother—yes. We went to the farm every summer and Afton came down with us to stay for a few days. That was when school was just out, early spring. Afton was just a little bit older than me. She’s the one that came the time that we went picking sego lilies and my dad came and scared us.
Afton and I decided we’d like to go up on the side hills to hunt sego lilies. That was one of the main flowers because people didn’t have all the types of flowers we have now. It was pretty. My dad said, “You know, it’s going to get dark, don’t stay too long.” But we’d see a prettier sego lily over there and we kept running and picking all that we could find.
Finally it got towards dusk and we were quite a ways up there. My dad decided he’d give us a good scare so he put on my mother’s black coat. There was a canal running along there and he got down under the edge of that canal and as we got even with it, he came just growling out of there and we thought sure it was a bear. We had to go through what they used to call bars—it was the gate—and we crawled through that and threw our sego lilies in the air and ran as fast as we could down the little lane to the house. He was coming after us just growling. After we got into the house—we didn’t have locks on the door—we put some chairs up against the door and told my mother that there was a bear out there. Well, you should have heard the commotion. All the horses and cows, sheep and pigs all broke out of their pens and just went scattering all over the farm. It was just awful—the horses running with their tails up in the air, the cows mooing, and the chickens. You could just hear them! It took him the rest of the night to mend the fence and get the animals back in. It served him right! Everyone thought it was funny and we had a big laugh, even my dad. Anyway that’s been a fun story to tell throughout my life.
Right after Leavitt and I came back from visiting the farm in Escalante, he painted the farm house and he wrote the poem about that night and my dad scaring us. That was really something. We have the poem right on the wall by the picture of that house.
Is the house still there? No, it’s gone. In fact our house in town is pretty well gone too. That’s the one you got the wallpaper from? Yes. That’s all I could find. There must have been seven or eight layers of paper. Of course, the last one was the one I put on myself. Nobody had ever put anything on top of that one? No. But I put that one on. After my mother passed away, I decided that I needed to fix up the house. So I went down to the store and bought rolls of wallpaper. The ceilings were huge. You had to cook your own paste out of flour and salt. I can’t imagine, because the paper wasn’t real strong—your fingers would go through it. You had to trim the edges off. You were determined. Oh! I just can’t imagine how I did that, but I papered that big room. We had just a linoleum rug and there was a big wood stove on each side. I scrubbed that just white as white. I was cleaning the windows and the Relief Society visiting teachers came by. They said, “Oh, what are you doing?” and I said, “Oh, just cleaning off the old and giving room for the new.”
Another thing that I remember that was kind of cute was one of the boys had done something, some mischief thing. My mother said, “You just go get me a little stick. You need to have your little behind paddled.” So he didn’t come back, didn’t come back, so she sent me out to see what he was doing. That little guy had picked up every little stick he could find and had thrown them over the fence, all clear over the fence, everything from a stick as little as this…, everything over the fence. “I’m not going to take a stick in to get a whipping with!” Oh dear. I don’t remember which one of the boys it was. That was a funny little thing that they used to do.
We sure raised some good watermelons in the summer. Of course you had your own chickens and your own eggs. I hardly ever remember going to the store. You just had to use your own things. Did you bottle chicken too? No, we just whacked their heads off when we wanted to eat one. Oh, so you just kept them alive? Yes. How about turkeys? No. I think some people did. I think my mother’s family had some turkeys. I don’t remember. I remember Thanksgiving dinner. It was different then. The old people got to fill their plates first. They fix the kids’ plates first now. I remember they had this big long table outside and grandparents and adults always got their plates first. I remember we had to stand around and wait until they went, then the kids could follow through. But now the kids go before the adults. We didn’t bake potatoes like we do now. We put them in a fire outside.
How did you spend your 24th of July? Well, we started planning about a month ahead for a fishing trip. My mother would make an extra lot of butter and we’d hang it down in the well to keep it good. They’d bring the covered wagon and we’d put all of the stuff that we thought we’d need in the covered wagon and put the horses on and all of us would get in the wagon and go up to the canyon out of Escalante. But we could only go with the wagon about three fourths of the way. Then we would have to all of us get off the wagon and load the horses up, load us up with all we could carry, and walk on a path the rest of the way up the mountain.
When we got up there, there were little streams that came from two sides, one from the east and one from the west. And right between them were two trees. My dad would put a long pole between those trees and we’d put a big piece of canvas like a canvas tent over the top and that’s where we’d put our bedding down to make a big long bed. We all slept together in that one bed.
The next morning was the fishing day. We’d get long sticks to fasten the line to and everybody would go out to fish except for mother. They had a bucket with water that they would put the fish in. We’d bring them home and my dad would cut their heads off.
How many fish would you catch? Oh, lots—10, 15 each maybe. He’d clean them, wash them, and put them in a white cotton bag, a big long bag, tie the top and put them out in a little spring there. It was ice water. So then every morning that’s what would happen. My mother would make baking powder biscuits, just putting the liquid in the flour bag and stirring around to make biscuits that we cooked in a Dutch oven, cooked fish, and that’s all we had. So that was a good place for me to lose some weight, because I didn’t like fish very well. I’d go up under a tree and pick at my fish. When no one could see me, then I’d throw away most of it. Anyway, it was a lot of fun.
I remember one trip we made. We had the most terrific electrical storm you could ever image, that we were out in. We just all huddled together, but that was a fun thing.
My mother used to always make the littlest kids a jumper-type thing to wear up there. It didn’t have to be washed the whole time? No, because it was black, and I think they called that material sateen, kind of shiny. But I remember seeing that little thing that she used to make. I don’t know what we did about diapers, there were no disposable diapers. I guessed we washed them out in the stream. That reminds me that one of the worst jobs I ever had was to wash those dirty diapers. We’d get some water in a bucket and a broom and swish them around with the handle and empty that and get more. We probably had two used diapers to wash at once. But I could sure tip the bucket over and get the worst out. We’d have to hang them out to dry. But that was still a fun time.
I guess another thing was that I went up to the corral in the early morning to feed the cows. It wouldn’t have been early morning because it was hot. Anyway, I put the hay in the manger and then I looked and there was a kind of a hole under the manger and I thought “Oo… that just looks like a cool…” I put my hand under and felt and it felt so cool. How old were you? I don’t know—four or five maybe, I was just quite little. I thought, “I’ll just get under there and hide and go to sleep there where it’s so cool.” I went to sleep and then it was time that they began to wonder why I hadn’t come back. The whole town was called out to hunt for me and nobody could find me. They were just frantic, just searching every place. Finally I woke up, crawled out, went down, and all the people thought I was a ghost! I’ll always remember that. I don’t remember whether I got a spanking or not, but I don’t think so. They were so glad to see me.
We used to have a root cellar under the ground and that’s where we put all of our summer stuff to take back home for the winter. One day my mother said, “Would you go down the steps to get the washboard?” She kept the washboard leaning against the wall on the steps as you went down. So I went down and got hold of the washboard to bring it up and there was a huge big blow snake wrapped around it. Anyway, it was a big one, just wrapped right around that washboard. I screamed and threw the washboard and ran out! Oh dear! My mother came to the rescue. She got the broom and got it out of there. At that time they liked the snakes to be around because they ate a lot of the bugs and things like that.
But it was a kind of a fun time. We’d go out and there’d be huge ant beds. We’d dig and kick the sand all off. We weren’t a bit afraid of the ants, except if you did get stung, it wasn’t too nice. But I wasn’t a farmer. I was always a little bit leery at night because we didn’t lock doors or pull windows down or anything. I’d always imagine I could hear some animal or something out there. Probably people had to get up in the night to go to the outhouse. Yes, they’d just go outside by the tree or something. Was this at your camp or your regular house? Well, both.
You didn’t have an outhouse at your regular house? Oh yes. I know there was one down there because one time I didn’t want to do whatever I was supposed to do, so I went and hid in the outside toilet. My dad brought a little switch and switched me out. Oh dear! I guess those times are how I learned to do so many tricks.
You had a lot of tricks. Yes, I sure did. But it was fun and my mother—there was me and then two boys—showed me quite a bit of attention and probably spoiled me. You were probably a good help to her though. Yes, I loved to mess things up.
I just always liked to make things, either cloth, or if it was dough or whatever. I was always cooking something, always cooking. One time when mother left and probably went to somebody’s house to quilt, I decided that I wanted to make some biscuits. So I just got some flour and put water in it and stirred it up and put them in the dripper in the oven. It was a wood burning stove and I hadn’t made a fire. I put them in the oven and they didn’t raise, didn’t bake—they didn’t do anything, so I took them to the door and threw them out. There was a big pear tree there and most of the biscuits hit the pear tree and hung onto the bark. Then I made another batch and it didn’t work. So I made another batch. That old pear tree was just covered with biscuits hanging all off it and the dooryard. When my mother came home, there were three batches of dough out on the pear tree. I had to mop, literally mop, the dooryard, as we called it, and the old pear tree. So that was a good lesson. When Leavitt and I went down to Escalante a few years ago, that old pear tree was still standing there and I looked all over to see if there might be dough on it.
How old were you, 5 or so? I wasn’t very old at all. I didn’t know how to make a fire. Did she teach you how to make a fire then? Yes.
My parents would sometimes go to town and they’d go in the wagon so it would take a while. As soon as they’d go, I’d start stirring something up. Then when I thought it was about time for them to come home, I’d send my two brothers to climb up on top of the roof to watch and tell me when they were getting close so I could hurry and get things straightened around before they got home.
But you don’t think your mom knew about it? Well, she didn’t stop me if she did. I don’t know. Did you try to eat everything before your folks got back? Yes, or else the boys would take some stuff and hide it someplace. Was that Bud? Bud and Wells. They’d go climb up on the roof and watch for them. They could see for quite a ways. So I guess I must have been kind of a little busy body. How old do you think you were if you already had two brothers? Oh probably seven to ten years old because there was just about two years difference between us. They’d have been a pretty good age to climb up on the house.
What kind of things would you cook while they were gone? Oh, I would make candy and I’d make cookies. One time I made a chocolate pie. It was the first pie dough I ever made. The crust was so rich that when we cut it and put the knife under it, it went right up through the crust, there was so much lard in it.
Well, anyway, we had to make all the bread that we used. Being that we had sheep, we used mutton tallow for shortening a lot, which still makes me sick to think about. Oh! Gosh! It just had a… it makes me have cold chills to think about it. Was it rancid? No, it just had its own flavoring. You could always tell when you were cooking mutton because you could smell it.
You made your own bread. Did you make your own cheese? Oh yes, we made our own cheese. When did you do that? In the summer when we’d go down to the farm, we’d make cheese. We stayed ‘til it was time for school to start. Where did you live in the winter? Oh back up in town in Escalante.
Did you have a lot of cows? We had quite a few cows, between six and a dozen. We had a separator to get the cream out. That was one of the main things we did in the summer was to make cheese—great big round cheese. We had a cellar and we had shelves. I can see them on that one side, just all great big cheese. I can’t remember where we would put it when we took it back to town after we made it there on the farm. We’d have to put it where mice couldn’t get at it.
How did you make the cheese? We had a big tub like a # 3 tub. They’d put in the cream and cheese. Then they had a coloring to put in it. Did they have rennet or something like that? Yes, then they’d set it just on the back of the stove to keep it warm until it was set. They had a big long knife that they would cut through it both ways, cutting through it to make curd because it would be just one big set thing. They’d cut through it and the whey would come out. Then they would put it inside of a press. We had a big round press about 15-18” diameter. Then when it was set good, they’d take cheesecloth, it was kind of a mesh, melt paraffin wax, dip the cloth in that, and then lay it down, put the cheese on it while it was still warm, and wrap it up. I bet it was delicious. Yes, it was good. Then when it got cold, the wax would set. Sometimes we used to get a cup and drink some of the whey. Nowadays people just throw it away.
Did I say about Bud getting caught on the….? Well, one day we heard one of the kids screaming and screaming. We went running out and he’d…, I think it was Bud, I’m sure, he’d climbed up on the fence and as he tried to get down, the strap on his overalls got caught over the top of the fence post and there he was hanging just from that, didn’t even have his feet on the fence, he was just hanging there screaming, kicking his feet and screaming. So my mother got up, just unlatched the strap and got him down. We said if we weren’t home, he’d have just hung there no telling how long. So I don’t think he ever climbed that fence again.
I remember that my dad’s mother, Grandma Woolsey, had quite a few fruit trees and we’d go up there, especially when the cherries were ripe. We’d climb up in the tree, but, no matter how many cherries or whether you’d had all you wanted or not, if you burped, that meant you were full and you had to get down out of the tree. Don’t be burping—try not to burp out loud if you’re going to eat the cherries. Eating cherries was one thing we liked to do.
How did you and Dad meet? Well, we were at a dance. They used to have dances every Friday night and I was dancing with somebody and danced by where he was up on the stand playing the banjo in the orchestra. And he just laid the banjo down on the chair and got up and came down and took me right away from that other dancer. He said, “I saw you dance by and I said, ‘There’s the girl for me,’” and he just came down. He made another date with me. I was about 16. I was old for my age because I had so much to do. Anyway I had a date with a boy from Boulder, Donald Leavitt, and he rode his horse all the way over there and Leavitt came and got me first. And we just started dating.
Dad was always pretty romantic. Oh yes, oh my! You should read some of his poetry.
My mother lived for about a month after her last baby was born. It wasn’t alive when it was born. So she didn’t ever get up out of bed or anything. Didn’t she have pneumonia? No. They called it dropsy. That’s when they retain fluid all over in their system, in their legs and everything. Did she have that before? No, that was the first time that I ever knew about. She had to be propped up. She couldn’t lie down because of her condition. I can just remember the day. She’d been really sick for just about a month and one day she said, “You can lay me down now,” so we took the pillow out and laid her down and she was gone, just like that.
The church house that we had, the chapel was just a long flight of stairs on the outside that you would have to go up to get there and I remember you’d have to carry those caskets up and down the steps.
After that we just kind of settled in. That was in the spring, and when it was time for school to start, I just got them all ready for school. I had a pretty piece of material in a coat. I pulled the coat all apart and turned it and made one of the girls a little coat on our treadle sewing machine. I don’t know what it must have looked like. I sewed some dresses. I can’t remember much about food. I suppose we went on about the same way that we had. We had to make everything. You still had kids in diapers probably. I don’t know if Mona Gene was still in diapers or not.
Especially in winter that washing of clothes was just tragic, when I think about it now. Of course we didn’t know anything different then. We had to heat the water outside on a stove. Of course we didn’t have king-sized beds, the sheets were just normal, but they were still heavy and wet. You always boiled the white things. We had no electricity in the house.
How did you keep warm in the winter? We had two wood-burning stoves. We used coal so the fire never did go out, but think of having to heat every drop of water you used. On Saturday you’d start with the youngest child and then each child up, you’d add a teakettle full of water to the # 3 tub. You’d go from the littlest one up to the biggest—the littlest ones weren’t so dirty. But you only got a bath on Saturday night. I just can’t quite remember what we did about washing hair.
But people were fussy about their clothes and things then too. My dad trapped a red fox and had it tanned and fixed and made my mother a shawl out of it. I can remember that; it was gorgeous. He trapped lots of coyotes, but that was the only other different kind of animal that I saw. It was pretty. She had it on a black coat.
Remember you had that green coat with fur on it. Where did you get that? Well, after I came to Kanosh, Fern, Leavitt’s older sister, was going up to Salt Lake to stay with her friend’s children while the parents went on a trip. So I went with her. I don’t know how we got to Salt Lake. I think we probably rode a bus or something. This was before I got married—I’d come to Kanosh on a mail truck. I don’t know how we found out there was a family looking for a maid to stay. They just had one little boy. So I stayed there and then I took the money that I earned and bought that coat.
It was a Jewish family. He’d put on his black hat and stand at the head of the table and go through all that blessing of the food. But it was pretty nice because I had a bedroom of my own. I think we stayed about a month. I also did housework. They were the kind that had certain bars of soap for meat stuff and certain for milk. I had to keep it all separated and the dishes separated. They had different cupboards for things that you’d use for milk and for meat. They were very kosher Jewish. That was kind of a fun time.
I learned quite a bit from that trip. I learned that you had to strike a match to start the gas burner. I went downstairs one time to wash a batch of clothes. You had to heat the water on the stove and then pour it into the washer. I didn’t know you had to use a match to light the gas. I felt the breeze from the gas, but it didn’t light, so I turned it off. Someone came down later and showed me how to light the gas with a match. It could have been a disaster.
Memories of Rula Woolsey Christensen
As told to Meridene Christensen Grant
February 15, 2006 Kanosh/Provo
How about the story of B D and the oven door? My mom used to sit down on a pillow on the oven door to warm her back. One day B D came and put the oven door right down and sat on it without a pillow. Oh dear! She got back up again real fast—she got up in a hurry, I’ll tell you! They didn’t have good medicine to put on burns in those days. I don’t know what we used.
The Old Farm
Contributor: R and N Englestead Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
THE OLD FARM
This Old Farm is a sacred memory of Rula Woolsey Christensen who, as a child, lived here with her family during summer months.
Our summers were spent at this farm house. Twas sixty odd years ago.
As children we helped with the farm work, and roamed in the valley below.
I see as I walk through the rubble, a rose as in days of yore,
Still grows by the path to the cottage, and out near the cellar door.
Stout pioneers built this cabin, and a great barn raised they high,
To shelter tools and livestock, and keep the hay mow dry.
They planted fields and orchards, and long straight garden rows.
But here by the house and the cellar, God planted the wild rose.
I remember late one evening, the sun was sinking low,
When I and young Aunt Afton went out where the segos grow.
My father said, "Don't linger, for night is coming soon,
And you might lose your bearings in just the light of moon."
When we had lingered longer, Dad said, "They need a scare,"
So with a robe about him, he played he was a bear.
Out of the ditch this monster came with a snarl and roar,
And two small frightened lasses shot for the cottage door.
They ran the lane a screaming, tossed lilies into the air,
Burst through the door of the cabin, then braced it shut with a chair.
The cattle and horses stampeded, they trampled the fence in their fright,
Ran through the field and the orchard, their tails erect in their flight.
The hogs and chickens, too, scattered, Twas our practical joker's plight,
For Dad was gone for hours, rounding them up in the night.
The cottage now is in shambles, the windows and doors are gone.
The cellar reduced to rubble, and weeds have choked out the lawn.
The fields are filled with thistles, the garden with cockles and sage,
The barn is utterly missing, and the trees are dead from age.
As I view time's scene of destruction, I marvel in verse, or in prose,
Men's works have crumbled and perished, while radiant is God's yellow rose.
written in 1978
Proctor Farm House Painting